Africa Express live at The Ritz, Manchester

Africa Express live at The Ritz, Manchester
Africa Express

Africa Express, the collective of African and Western musicians, is filling a train with dozens of very special guest artists and taking it on a musical adventure across mainland Britain this September, produced in association with the Barbican as part of London 2012 Festival and presented in Manchester by Band on the Wall as part of the We Face Forward season of West African art and music.

Participating artists for the tour include musical legends, emerging new artists, vocalists, DJs and producers from Africa and the West including Amadou & Mariam, Damon Albarn, Baaba Maal, Rokia Traoré, Kano, Baloji, Charli XCX,  Jupiter & Okwess International and Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club) - with lots more guests to be announced closer to the time.

Hailed as the most revolutionary force in popular music for two decades, Africa Express brings together musicians from different cultures, genres and generations to break boundaries and offer a new perspective on Africa and its music.

Africa Express began in 2006 with a trip to Mali, when co-founder Damon Albarn took the likes of Fatboy Slim, Martha Wainwright and Jamie T to work with African legends such as Toumani Diabate, Salif Keita, Amadou & Mariam and Bassekou Kouyate. This was followed by a live concert in London, then the now-legendary Glastonbury 2007 show, trips to Nigeria, the Congo, Ethiopia, the BBC Electric Proms, Paris, and a Spanish beach show for 50,000 people.

As well as scheduled concerts in Manchester, Middlesbrough, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol and London, there will be pop-up performances at railway stations, schools, factories, offices, shopping centres and homes. The train itself will include a customized music carriage, with artists creating new material along the route.

Join us at the The Ritz for what is set to be a true one-off live music experience feauturing a huge lineup of internationally lauded musicians and very, very special guests from all cultures and backgrounds, performing brand new material - each Africa Express show is completely unique!

"A fantastically varied cast of stars… a joyfully unpredictable compelling journey." NME

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Afel Bocoum
Afrikan Boy
Amadou & Mariam
Carl Barat
Baaba Maal
Dead Prez (M1)
Bassekou Kouyate
Damon Albarn
Cubain Kabeya
Jesse Hackett
Diabel Cissokho
John McClure ( Reverend & The Makers)
Fode Lassana (balafon)
Hatim Bensalha from H-Kayne
Jack Steadman (Bombay Bicycle Club)
Jupiter & Okwess International
Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Nicolas Jaar
Kareem Rush (Arabian Knightz)
Krar Collective
Remi Kabaka
Mehdi Haddab
Romeo Stodart (Magic Numbers)
Mim Suleiman
Musa Mboob
Richard Russell (XL)
Rokia Traoré
Rye Rye
Spoek Mathambo
Temper Trap (4 Piece)
Tony Allen        
Very Best Sound System
Toumani Diabate
Terri Walker


Buy now From Band On The Wall box office


Martin Barlow, curator of the exhibition Moving Into Space at the National Football Museum talks about the exhibition.

Barthélémy Toguo, Lucy Azubuike and Nnenna Okore, three of the exhibited artists, talk about their work and their interest in using materials which reflect the lifestyle and experience of the people of West Africa.

Twitter (#wefaceforward)

Creative Tourist


Nine countries show off their talent as five city venues link up for a summer celebration. Helen Nugent in the Guardian

Street life, dazzling dress, social commentary and a riot of sensuous colour interweave in a rich assembly of West African art, writes Charles Gore in the Times Higher Education